As part of the new business-friendly dawn of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer and shadow Chancellor Racheel Reeves are in Davos today. It’s the last in a string of strategic moves to charm businesses and convince them that Labour is serious about what it wants to achieve with the help of the private sector.
And it’s all the more poignant given that Rishi Sunak is staying behind in Westminster. The Prime Minister might have thought it good optics to convince us that he’s not one of those rich businessmen who rock up to the Swiss mountains for the annual meeting with their pals.
But aside from rubbing shoulders with big executives, why is Starmer there?
On the surface, its to talk about their party’s green prosperity plan – A.KA. a long-term growth strategy focused on sustainable innovation achieved through private-public partnerships.
In his speech today, Starmer will likely insist that Labour is the party of growth – and that the latter is to be achieved through investment in green tech.
But Starmer is also hoping he can use the opportunity to convince everyone he would be a good Prime Minister, and one who believes in the power of the private sector, not one who wants to tax it into oblivion like his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.
The Labour leader also wants to try and restore relations with European leaders, including those at the top of the EU. Starmer, once an ardernt Remainer, has said there is no going back on Brexit, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want a closer relationship with Europe.
And he’s not alone in that either, at the end of last year Jeremy Hunt was rumoured to be pursuing the holy grail of Brexit deals – a “Swiss-style deal”.
If you want to see what Starmer says for yourself, he’s up at 2pm and his shadow Chancellor is speaking at 3pm.
Personally, we’re hoping for a snowball fight between Keir Starmer and Ursula von der Leyen.